Nathaniel Rice

Acting Governor of North Carolina Province 1752 to 1753

After Governor Gabriel Johnston's death in 1752, Nathaniel Rice (President of the Executive Council) followed by Matthew Rowan were Acting Governors until Arthur Dobbs reached New Bern in October of 1754.


In May, 1732, Governor George Burrington and his Executive Council sitting at Edenton heard a “Petition of the south side of Roanoke river, Fishing Creek, and places adjacent,” praying to have a new precinct erected on the south side of Roanoke river extending as far up as the mouth of Conocanara Creek. The petition was favorably acted on and the precinct formed and named Edgecombe. In October of the same year, the limits of Edgecombe precinct were more clearly defined so far as the portion bordering the Roanoke river was concerned. The eastern point was to be the Rainbow Banks, which is about two miles below the town of Hamilton, and the northern and western to be the southern line of Virginia.

Two members of the governor's Executive Council, Nathaniel Rice and John Baptista Ashe, protested against the formation of new precincts by the governor and his Executive Council without the concurrence of the popular branch of the Assembly - the House of Burgesses - as being in derogation of its rights. The governor and the other members were equally as determined as those two for the formation of the new precinct. So two memorials went to the Board of Trade in London, one from Ashe and Rice and another from the governor and his Executive Council, each memorial setting forth the reasons for and against the erection of the precinct, and each referring to the other in no complimentary terms. From that time, for about ten years, the contention was kept up as to the legality of the Act of the Executive Council, and Edgecombe Precinct was a name only, its representatives being denied seats in the Assembly.


By the Honorable Nathaniel Rice, Esq., Captain-General, and Governor-in-Chief, in and over the said Province. To the Surveyor General, Greeting: You are forthwith to admeasure and lay out, or cause to be admeasured and laid out unto George Davison, a Plantation, containing four hundred Acres of Land in the County of Anson, on the South side of the south fork of the Catawba River on Mountain Creek below Powers entry. October 14, 1752. 
The English colonies were still in the pioneer stage, though the number of settlers was steadily increasing. Gabriel Johnston was Governor of North Carolina until July of 1752, when he died, his office temporarily filled by Nathaniel Rice, ranking member of the Governor’s Executive Council. Several counties had been more or less definitely erected in the eastern part of the colony, but the western, beginning at the watershed between the Cape Fear and the Yadkin, was all known as Anson until the spring of 1753, when the part of Anson County lying in Lord Granville’s territory became Rowan County.
Click Here for information on the Executive Council under President Nathaniel Rice.
     
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